McEwan manages to hook the reader straight into the story, which makes the reader want to read on further into the novel. McEwan does this in several ways and I will begin to tell you about them firstly with the first chapter, also through the ways he talks about some things through the use of scientific language.
At the start of the first chapter we as the readers are firstly introduced to Mark (Joe Rose) who is telling us the story and we are also introduced to his girlfriend ‘Clarissa’. Soon after being introduced to Mark and Clarissa, we are then introduced to four other men who are running along side of him when he is running towards what he called a ‘catastrophe’. They were all farm labourers who were repairing a fence along the field’s southern edge where it skirts the road. These characters were introduced at this running point because all these men (mark etc…) were all running towards the man who was shouting for help. Near enough at the same point we are introduced to another man who was also on his way to help, his name was ‘John Logan’, he was a motorist. Half way through the first chapter we here from Clarissa about a famous poet called ‘John Keats’ who she has followed and researched his work for quite some time. Nearly throughout the whole of chapter 1 we know the guy shouting for help as ‘the pilot’ of the balloon, then finally we are introduced to him as the farther of Harry Gadd who is the little boy trapped inside the basket of the balloon, and then we learn his name to be James Gadd.
I have not read on just yet but of course I do plan to, but I do know that in the first opening three chapters of this novel we come across some interesting and fascinating language, which just makes readers want to read on and try to understand what he is talking about. He uses some amazing scientific words and most of the time quite descriptive. For example on page 5,
‘ We set off down our path arm in arm, still elated by our reunion; what was familiar about her- the size and feel of her hand, the warmth and tranquillity in her voice, the Celt’s pale skin and green eyes- was also a novel, gleaming in the alien light, reminding me of our very first meetings and the months we spent falling in love.’ From this quotation you can see that the narrator has used some descriptive words to describe a few seconds of when he was walking down this path with his girlfriend Clarissa. In this quotation from page 2 we can see that he has used some scientific like words, which I have clearly underlined so that you can see which ones, they are,
‘ The convergence of six figures in a flat green space has a comforting geometry from the buzzard’s perspective, the knowable, limited plane of the snooker table.’
Another way in which McEwan hooks the reader in the opening three chapters is the plot of the story. Straight away from the beginning of the novel we jump straight into some action from when Mark hears a shout for help in the near distance. So as the story goes on you as the reader are more and more addicted to read on, you meet more characters and each character is trying to save the same little boy from a hot air balloon. Also the way the narrator’s language is put into context is good because there is a lot of descriptive words as you can see from some of the quotations I have mentioned above.
Some of the introduction of themes are very good because you can straight away figure out what is happening and because it is exciting and at a few times a bit dramatic, you are then intrigued to read on. We also come across some nice introductions of romantic themes when the narrator tells us about Mark and Clarissa and the love they both share for each other.
There are a few narrative devices, for example the use of scientific language when he describes something specific. In quotations the narrator uses both scientific language and punctuation and also very well written descriptions.